I used to think that because my legs weren’t
That I was ugly
That no boy would ever find me
Beautiful enough to touch
That no girl would ever think
I was prettier than she was
Because surely the girl with
Would never be prettier than anyone.
I used to wear shorts in the pool
Because I didn’t want anyone
To look at me and think
“That 11 year old girl is huge!”
I used to wear t-shirts to the beach
Because I hated that I developed breasts
Long before all of my friends.
I was afraid to run in front of boys at school
Even though I loved to race
And I knew I could compete with them
Because I didn’t want them to see
How my elementary school stomach
Jiggled under my t-shirts.
I distinctly remember feeling
Incredibly petrified and utterly disgusted
When one day my friend told me
I was the fat one.
It’s taken me 18 years
That I am not fat.
I am not fat.
I am not ugly.
I am normal.
My thighs are no bigger than they should be.
My stomach is the way it should be.
My breasts are the way they should be.
There is no need to hide
From my own body
When all my body has ever done
Is love and protect me
From the ugliness of the world.
I am the way I am because I am meant to be that way.
I am more than just the sum of my parts;
I am more than a number, a measurement
Or a cup size.
I am a loving sister, daughter, friend.
I am a dedicated student,
An intelligent member of an ever growing society
Of people who need to realize
That a body is a shell
Which encases all that a person is,
But is not the only part of a person
I am me,
And there is nothing about me
That isn’t perfect
Just the way it is.